Sunday, August 21, 2011

Movie Review: Fright Night

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Slow weekend for choices at the movie theater. You have not one, but two remakes and one sequel. They all appealed about equally on my radar. Conan the Barbarian starring Hawaii born Jason Momoa and Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D which had scratch and sniff cards were two of the three selections available but ultimately, Fright Night won out only because it had the first non 3D showing of the day.

Fright Night Movie Poster
It is a remake of a 1985 version of the same name. Set in Las Vegas, the action starts quickly and keeps moving along. Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is told by former long time best friend Ed (Christoper Mintz-Plasse - McLovin from Superbad) that his new neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a slew of missing fellow classmates and families in the area. Charlie doesn't want to believe Ed, after all, what vampire would be named Jerry, right? Charlie quickly figures out that Ed was right after all and sets out to protect his stressed out real estate selling mother (Toni Collete) and knock out gorgeous girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) about the danger in the night.

To help with his crusade, Charlie heads over to the Hard Rock Hotel to get advise from a person in the know. This person is Peter Vincent (David Tennent, the tenth Dr over there on Dr Who), the magician whose show is vampire themed and called Fright Night. Of course some actor/magician would know everything you need to know to put down a hard core vampire with mean sharp nasty teeth, because we're dealing with reality here, not some nut job who just thinks they are a vampire.

The movie is rated R for bloody horror violence and language including some sexual reference. My theater must have thought it was scarey enough to keep the house lights on the dimmed but not dark mode for about 20 minutes into the 106 minute running time. Through the whole movie I only found myself startled twice by what happened on screen.

Nothing really ground breaking covered in the remake. The standard stakes, crosses, holy water, turning victims into vampires and belief all come up as well as giving permission for the unholy creature of the night to cross the threshold of your home. We did get answers for two variations of the crossing the threshold dilemma. The first, what if it's not your home and the second, what if you can't call the house a home anymore. Does the logic support the outcome?

Keeping with the genre, the big climatic battle scene seems to occur around the vampire's coffin just as the staking is to occur and right after the sun makes its daily graceful exit behind the horizon. The head vamps eyes pop open and the would be vampire killer is grabbed around the neck, hoisted off the ground and thrown across the room if it's an older tale with a castle, or to the other side of the basement if it's a more modern vampire story. The lived up to the standard. Although, I will give Fright Night a little credit. There was a nice twist on the standard vampire dispatch method to finally vanquish the bad guy.

So, while not a top shelf movie for the weekend, it fits solidly within the standard scope for telling the tale of a creature who needs to feed on human blood in order to remain alive. No day time walking, sparkly skin exposing, synthetic blood drinking, I just want to be your friend and marry you while not sucking your life force from two holes I put in your neck to be found here.

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